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Thursday, June 29

NAMI advocates display their NAMI fans on Capitol HillTaking it to the Hill

As the Nation’s Voice on Mental Illness, NAMI places the highest priority on public policy advocacy to transform America’s mental healthcare system. Today, attendees at NAMI’s 2006 Convention in Washington, D.C. had the opportunity to hear from, as well as speak with the leaders in Congress who are making the decisions that shape the system.

The day began with a Legislative Plenary session. NAMI advocates gathered in the ballroom of the Washington Hilton for a debriefing on NAMI’s policy priorities, and to hear from Senator Pete Dominici. From there, they boarded buses for Capitol Hill, where they joined others from their states in meeting with their own senators and representatives and making their voices heard.

Later in the afternoon, three former senators—John Breaux, Tom Daschle, and Don Nickles—took the stage at the Hilton during the Convention’s Opening Plenary and engaged in a stimulating dialogue about the future of healthcare in America. They discussed the policies that will form the basis of a bipartisan package of healthcare reforms to be decided on by Congress in the next 12 to 24 months, touching on topics such as health information technology, the uninsured, and prevention and wellness.

Meanwhile, the groundbreaking Multicultural Strategic Summit also held its opening session. Community health leaders and experts shared the successes, challenges and lessons learned in working toward a culturally competent system of mental health care in their communities.

The day was capped off by the Convention Art Show and Talent Show, showcasing the creative and artistic abilities of the consumers, family members, and friends who are part of the NAMI movement.

View Photos of Thursday’s activities

More daily coverage and photos:  June 28 | June 29 | June 30 | July 1

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